Jumping the Start: 44th Annual Jim Raper Memorial Dirt Cup presented by Jack in the Box 
It’s coming up on the last weekend of June and Pacific Northwest sprint car fans know what that means. It’s almost time for the 44th annual Jim Raper Memorial Dirt Cup presented by Jack in the Box, which takes place Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at Skagit Speedway.

Headlining Dirt Cup for the first time will be the Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Car Dirt Series presented by MAVTV American Real. Thursday and Friday’s main events pay $2,000 to win, but Saturday’s finale jumps up to $15,000 for the champion! Dirt Cup is also rounds four, five, and six for the Summer Thunder Sprint Series presented by Here 2 Wire and FinishLine Graphics.

Brock Lemley won last year’s rain-shortened race on his way to a $20,000 check. The previous driver from Washington to win Dirt Cup was Jayme Barnes, who did so in ‘08 and ‘09. Look for racers like Lemley, Colton Heath, Jason Solwold, Eric Fisher, Robbie Price, Trey Starks, and many others from the Northwest to try to win another one for the locals.

The ASCS drivers wrapped up Summer Sizzlin’ Speedweek last Saturday at Lucas Oil Speedway in Wheatland, Missouri. Tony Bruce, Jr. was the winner of that race, while Wayne Johnson was the overall Speedweek champion. Aaron Reutzel is the ASCS points leader with 1,386 points, followed by Johnny Herrera at 1,328. Snohomish, Washington native Seth Bergman is third at 1,309 points with Johnson right behind at 1,306 and Jeff Swindell is fifth with 1,263.

The Northwest Focus Midgets are set to compete on Friday. Garrett Thomas got his second career victory at Skagit last Saturday, after getting his first back on May 2. He also has two wins at Grays Harbor Raceway this season.

Joining the ASCS drivers in Saturday’s card are the outlaw tuners. The class of the field in that division is three-time and defending champion Freddie Vela. He has won five of the eight races so far in 2015 and he leads Matt Powers by 44 points. Cliff Ballenger, Brandon Berg, and Jon Gunderson complete the top five in points.

Last year’s event had problems with rain, but not this year. All three days are expected to be sunny and very warm. Race fans will witness history with the first ever ASCS event at Skagit, and drivers from all over will make this year’s Dirt Cup one to remember.

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